Jun 26, 2022 10:42 AM
vanda nosseo in velgarth shortly after the Cataclysm
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"I think she is the one best placed to - make sense of your world and what you are offering? Also in practice she is the one currently running around the entire city trying to arrange for everyone to vote on whether or not to join you. There are adults I would delegate to if it were - anything else - but the adults here are not very willing to put their trust in strangers. Reasonably, given their life experience." 

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"Might make it hard for a vote to come up yes."

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"I suppose we will see how far they trust Tsashi." Lionstar isn't actually sure how it will go. But - it seems like people have better options, now, and so it shouldn't be up to him.

"You will feed them anyway, right? Even if they vote no this time?" 

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"Yeah. That's what this little store is for." Zanro pulls the box off their heads and resumes setting up. "Everything sells for an anecdote about your life, or a story or a song. We fill it up with food and trinkets and doodads." He opens a box of fruit and starts setting it out on a display.

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They seem like good people. He should touch base with Corben later anyway, make sure, but - it's enough to go on for now. Especially given their definite lack of any other options. 

 

Well. He has a lot of anecdotes about his life that he could sell for food, if the others run out of anecdotes and stories and songs. 

"Thank you," he says quietly, "I will leave you to it, then." And he slips away, as discreetly as he can manage. 

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The Vanda Nossëans are not gonna chase him.

Cassiel finds Tsashi and offers her a stack of ballots to hand out. "Looking for these?"

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Tsashi has been tearing around the town, trying to gather everyone in the city hall. She slows to a halt when she sees Cassiel. Frowns at the weird papers. "...What are those?" 

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"These are ballots. They mark whether people want to stay or go. We can also do a show of hands, but these are typical." They've been done up in the local language.

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"Oh! That's clever." Tsashi accepts the stack of ballots. Peers curiously at them. "Seems complicated though. A lot of the grownups don't know how to read or write very well. Can they just do a show of hands or should someone who can read and write do theirs for them? ...Oh and do you know where Lionstar went, he said he was going to talk to you but now I can't find him." 

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"Show of hands is fine. He went to talk to Zanro in the shop."

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"Okay. I'll go put these down and then try to find him." 

She leaves Prashat in charge of the ballots and of making a list of people's questions as they arrive for the meeting, and then she runs off to the shop where Zanro is setting up. "Where's Lionstar? I thought he was here." 

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"You just missed him," Zanro says, putting out a display of shoes.

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Tsashi is so confused. The conversation she just had with Lionstar was weird. She would have expected him to be happy about the delegation arriving. And scared, of course, but not - whatever it was she was noticing. She's not even sure what to call it. 

"Are you allowed to tell me what he wanted to talk about with you?" she asks. 

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"Sorry, he wanted it to be a private conversation. What's on your mind?" Zanro inquires.

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She fiddles with the hem of her tunic. "Something's wrong and he doesn't want to tell me what - he's being weird, and I– it doesn't make sense but I'm scared he wants to leave. Or something. And I don't know why, it'd make sense if he were scared but I don't think that's why." 

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"Well, if he does want to leave, then we have to let him. That's the rule that makes having so few other rules work - that if you don't want to stay somewhere, you can go somewhere else, that's different," says Zanro.

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They're probably going to think it's ridiculous of her, if she says that she doesn't want to live in a place that Lionstar chose to leave. She's not even sure if that's true. And maybe she's misreading the situation entirely, and Lionstar isn't planning to leave at all, since it doesn't make any sense that he would. All she's really sure of is that something is wrong, and - whatever it is, it's something that the aliens can't fix. Something that's worse now that they're here.

Which seems really important to understand, actually, before she tries to explain to all the older folk what it would mean to vote on joining Vanda Nossëo. 

"Thank you," she says, as politely as she can manage, and heads out to look for Lionstar. 

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He's not terribly hard to find; he isn't trying to hide. He's in the room where he sleeps, which is one of the underground basements; it's safer to put shielding on the walls, if it's underground.

He's sitting cross-legged on his sleeping mat, in front of an open chest that Tsashi has never seen before. 

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She doesn't say anything at first, just heads over and settles herself on the other end of the mat, politely not looking at the contents of the chest. If she's never seen it before, presumably it's private and he has a good reason for that. 

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Lionstar doesn't say anything immediately. He's looking at something written on a faded, creased sheet of foolscap. The chest is mostly full of notes, in a cipher that Tsashi couldn't read even if she were looking. 

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Eventually, once it seems clear that he's neither going to tell her to go away nor going to start explaining of his own accord, Tsashi clears her throat. 

"I know something is wrong. I know you think it's - not the kind of wrong where it'd be a bad idea for us to accept help from them? But even if you're not going to tell anyone else can you please tell me?" 

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He looks over at her. Doesn't say anything immediately. 

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She scoots closer. 

"Thought you were scared. At first. I thought maybe because you've killed people and if we're joining Vanda Nossëo then we have to follow their laws. But I'd've thought they'd understand, that things were different before."

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"They are very forgiving." 

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She nods, satisfied. "So that is what you talked about. You - seem less scared. So it'll be okay? They weren't angry?" 

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